Building The Progressive Utopia For Dummies–How To Program A Nation Part 3

Time To Start Digging, Again….

In Part Two of this series, there is a list of conditions necessary to bring about a managed society. Here it is again, for those who need to be reminded:

  1. Control of the information stream, from inception to delivery.
  2. Societal/cultural pressure to break down existing ethical standards of any kind
  3. Weakening the concept of the nuclear family
  4. Removing the care of children from parents
  5. Weakening any religious foundations, and the ethics that go with them
  6. Increasing the size and power of a central government, by any means possible
  7. The removal  or weakening of rights
  8. The weakening of civil discourse and common courtesy behaviors
  9. The strengthening of apparent (or actual) class/race/gender disparities
  10. Reduction of and eventual extinction of the common sense data base
  11. Reduction of, and eventual extinction of, critical thinking skills
  12. Reduction and eventual extinction of long term memory.

We dealt with Number One on the list–so now to number two.

Out With The Old, In With The New–The Post-Modern Society

Prior to the growth of Post Modernism and Cultural Marxism, and feminism (an inevitable offshoot of these poisonous plants), The U.S.A. along with most of the western world, had a fairly rigid ethical and societal structure, centered around principles that included personal responsibility and accountability, financial responsibility and common courtesy –to name a few of the largest factors. We also had a fairly strong and rigid set of sexual mores; nuclear families, marriage, strong societal pressure against premarital sex.

To see how this cultural structure got derailed, we need to go across the pond, to Europe and the early days of communist Russia. Communism is a working construct of the post modernist worldview– a system in which  there can be no individual success–“YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT”. In theory, everyone would provide maximum resources and labor happily, in exchange for having their needs met, because “the people” would own everything in common.

Now this may sound like a wonderful idea–John Lennon certainly seemed thrilled–but in practice, communism/collectivism can only work in very small groups, under very narrow conditions, in part because human beings are the most successful animals on this planet. To a great extent , our success stems from being “efficient”, and efficiency, in the truest form, is getting the most resources with the least effort. So in a communist society–productivity is the first casualty.

After all–if you can receive the same amount of resources from working 10 hours a week as you can from working 20–why would you work 20? And more importantly–if working the extra 10 not only gets you NO recognition, NO “reward”–and instead represents a direct loss, either through excess taxation or through the extra resources being taken from you and given to others–you are essentially being “punished” for being more highly motivated than those around you.

COMMUNISM, PROGRESSIVISM, SOCIALISM, AND COLLECTIVISM PUNISH SUCCESS, AND REWARD FAILURE. THEY CREATE AN INEVITABLE “RACE TO THE BOTTOM”. 

But the great minds who came up with this lunacy to begin with saw a solution to this end result–simply remove all of the ethical restraints and societal mores that had worked for literally thousands of years. Convince people that nuclear families were unnecessary (and possibly unhealthy), sexual morality is bad, personal responsibility and accountability are counterproductive, and leave behind only the most basic elements of humanity. The perfect worker would be one who questioned nothing, had no ambition, no familial or cultural ties, and lived only for himself and his gratification, which would be provided only by service to the state.

In return for his labor, this worker would be given everything free, from cradle to grave, and the state– an emotionless, remote machine of sorts, would replace all other associations. The state would provide the home for you and your partner. The state would test your offspring and decide what they would do for a living. The state provides all, and IS all–but that’s ok, because the state is actually wholly owned by the people. The people, in short, live in a peculiarly toxic dichotomy where they have the illusion of owning that which in fact has totally enslaved them.

In return for surrendering individuality, all types of freedom, and all the natural aspirations that make us human: competition, ambition, the desire to be unique and individual exceptionalism, the worker is assured  that he shall receive all that he needs, and there will be no envy or war or other unpleasant things, because everyone will be “equal” and “one”.

Perhaps the best distillation of the goals of Communism and the rest of the toxic ideologies within it, we need only look at one of John Lennon’s best known works:

Imagine

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

This is the goal of the progressive, the communist, the socialist. No God/heaven/hell means pure moral relativism–there is no consequence for ANYTHING you do, beyond any that occurs at the time. Live for TODAY–do what you wish, when you wish, to or with whoever you wish. So no personal accountability, and no external moral codes to worry about.

No countries means no collective identity–you’ve already got no PERSONAL identity because in this perfect world, there is nothing to distinguish you from “the other guy”. You own nothing. All you produce is lumped in with everyone else’s production. Your home, your clothes, everything in your environment is meaningless–because IT ISN’T YOURS. YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT. So not only can you leave no mark as an individual to show you ever were here–you are essentially a cipher–there is no group identity either.

The progressive  robs you of your individuality. They have robbed you of the healthy aspects of personality–ambition, the rewards of success, personal exceptionalism, the things that make YOU a unique being. They rob you of the solace and strength that religion and faith can provide–because it isn’t enough to tell you that YOU ARE NOTHING–they also want you to believe that everything around you is just random chance. That there is no meaning to life.

This toxic ideology not only gives you no reason to want to anything other than the bare minimum you must do–if you retain enough personality to try to do more–you are punished actively for doing so. Because in a system where everything is allowed, where you can engage in the most heinous acts if you wish–with consequences only following if you are caught–where there is no outlet for the natural human desire to be regarded as a unique and special person, where there is no acknowledgement of any group exceptionalism either, or even species exceptionalism, ANY expression of ideas that do not conform to those of the progressive state endangers the narrative.

 When You Actually Think About What Lennon Was Saying….

You need to ask yourself–what sort of human being would willingly participate in this ultimate form of slavery–the complete deconstruction of their native personality? If you offered this deal to every generation from the dawn of written history, without the pretty packaging, the vast majority of the people who have ever lived would run screaming in the other direction–or drag you to a court, convict you of whatever crimes they could attach to this philosophy, and execute you.

Yet in the space of less than 100 years, this poisonous ideology and all of the damaging mental illnesses that go with it, has gained a strong foothold in all of the developed nations of the world.

For an ideology that contains so many elements that are absolutely suicidal on both an individual level and a societal/species level to have made the progress it has made required a great deal of effort–and also a level of mass perception management that only became practical around the end of World War 2.

And in part 4 of this series, we’ll go back to the list and examine the final items not covered in this section–HOW the science behind mass perception management and psychographic segmentation has permeated every facet of our society, and WHY it is being accepted so easily.

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Building The Progressive Utopia For Dummies–How To Program A Nation Part 2

Can You Create A Reality? You Sure Can…

In part one, I gave you some light background and heavy reading on where the concept of mass perception management came from. As is often the case with really dangerous ideas–it was a military intelligence development.

But What Circumstances need to be in place for this to really work? Orwell gave us the basic outline, so here is where we start:

  1. Control of the information stream, from inception to delivery.
  2. Societal/cultural pressure to break down existing ethical standards of any kind
  3. Weakening the concept of the nuclear family
  4. Removing the care of children from parents
  5. Weakening any religious foundations, and the ethics that go with them
  6. Increasing the size and power of a central government, by any means possible
  7. The removal  or weakening of rights
  8. The weakening of civil discourse and common courtesy behaviors
  9. The strengthening of apparent (or actual) class/race/gender disparities
  10. Reduction of and eventual extinction of the common sense data base
  11. Reduction of, and eventual extinction of, critical thinking skills
  12. Reduction and eventual extinction of long term memory.

 

Well, Then–We’re Safe! That’s A Long List!

Well–not really. That’s only the beginning. And remember, this began back when we hadn’t even gotten to the moon yet. To accomplish this lofty goal, the “supply list” is surprisingly short, and requires only money and dedication to “the cause”:

  1. Acquire and centralize as much of the information stream as possible. This is a simple money game–whenever a media outlet comes up for sale–BUY  IT! This also applies to textbook companies, publishing houses, cable and internet concerns. Once upon a time, well over 30 companies controlled 90%+ of our information stream. Now–thanks to past Congresses removing Sherman Anti-Trust restrictions from our information sector, we are down to 5. YEP–FIVE. And in reality, those 5 all own parts of each other–and over 30% of them is owned, through multi-layered shell companies, by foreign governments and individuals. Because of course you don’t have to buy them lock, stock, and barrel–just enough stock publicly traded to get a majority of board seats.   Here is the depressing picture from 2012–and the pond has gotten smaller since then: THIS IS OUR INFORMATION STREAM  . NOW, FOLLOW THE MONEY ON THOSE COMPANIES. RIGHT INTO THE DNC.

 

And here’s a look at the top 5 publishing houses for trade books. Note that NEWS CORP–Rupert Murdoch and minions–own 2 of them: The Big Five–technically, the Big Three .  And in textbooks/educational testing and materials, we have Three: Pearson–yes, it’s a huffpo link. But even the Loon Platoon can be right occasionally. Mc Graw-Hill Education . Once again, not a normal citation–Wikipedia IS NOT RELIABLE. However, this particular listing gives you a decent list of all the tangles alliances and influences on the largest Textbook/ curriculum group around–and if you take the time to wade through the Byzantine connections past and present, the results are, to say the least, interesting and rather unsettling. And Last (not least)–Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt. Another wiki citation, but a good place to start. Older folk may also remember the Harcourt-Brace-Jovanovich imprint. When you are tracking the money and connections in education it is extremely important to follow the money. Notice how many of the textbook firms operate at a LOSS for long periods of time, and who bails them out….

The Big takeaway here is a simple one–the deeper you dig into the information stream, from inception to delivery, the more unsettling the picture becomes, because so many of the players have shady ties (many to data collection firms and psychographic segmentation companies, as well as major hedge funds and shell corporations). If you buy the government’s excuse for allowing communications monopolies–that they are “critical national security infrastructure”–then you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Before the government broke up the Bell Telephone monopoly, their excuse for there being a monopoly in phone service in the first place was the same one used to justify media monopolies–critical national security infrastructure. So, why break up Bell? And why, now, allow telephone service to once again become a monopoly?
  2. If something is a critical part of our national security, then why allow foreign interests to gain significant financial control of it? This also applies to food and energy, by the way, as the most recent administration allowed CHINA to acquire the majority of our pork product agricultural sector, and has allowed foreign interests to purchase large chunks of our energy infrastructure–not to mention HILLARY CLINTON selling of 20% of our uranium reserves to Russia, and the vast majority of the rare earths used to produce parts for wind plants and other non-green energy came from out of the country–China and parts of Africa. One would think that those parts of the infrastructure that are essential to keep under U.S. control, for national defense and national security reasons, would be wholely owned by American companies, as would the resources needed to maintain them. Yet our last few administrations were more than willing to allow these industry sectors to become foreign property….

Wow. That Looks A Little Bit Scary. But HEY, it’s a LONG List, Right?

In the next section, we’ll dig into the list above…..  So on to Part Three.

Building The Progressive Utopia For Dummies–How To Program A Nation

Since the election, more and more relatively “sane” people are waking up wondering what the hell is wrong with the democrats, and the media, and Congress. Well, it’s fairly simple: in the case of the progressive loons–they are literally insane. Delusional psychopaths with a persecution complex. The victims of a toxic blend of post-modernism, cultural marxism, technology, and decades of 24/7 programming.

In the case of the media–many fall into the above description of progressive loons (the people formerly called Democrats). The others are simply mercenaries–paid mouthpieces for the uniparty/kleptocracy.

Congress hasn’t been two distinct parties for literally over half a century now–the entity known as Congress is a functioning kleptocracy, a single party body ruling through theft. Theft through taxation and regulation has been the norm for far longer than many people realize, and it stands to reason they are not too happy with the concept of ceding power.

But…But…How the Heck Did THIS Happen?

To answer that question, we need to step into the way back machine, and travel back to the years shortly after World War 2, when A writer named Orwell began looking around and realized that communists were infiltrating otherwise healthy countries, as well as the earliest examples of mass perception management. So, he did what any reasonable person would do–he wrote 2 books. Animal Farm, and 1984.

For Those Who Are Curious–Here Is Where You Begin:

Perception Management –Psychology Wiki

While I seldom cite any Wiki as a source, this particular one gives consistently accurate, easy to digest information on the beginning of the military/government use of mass perception management. Not that a law was passed in 1948 forbidding use of such tactics on our own population.

REGAINING THE HIGH GROUND: THE CHALLENGES OF PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT IN NATIONAL STRATEGY AND MILITARY OPERATIONS

This PDF report was written/published around a decade ago, and highlights some of the challenges our government faces employing perception management globally. It is used as a teaching aid in the Joint Advanced Warfighting School. While dry and tough to follow in places, it is essential reading for those who want to understand how commonplace this weapon is in the information warfare arsenal.

The Art of Perception Management in Information Warfare Today

This gem of a PDF is from–India. And it gives quite a few illuminating examples of how the media works hand in hand with military groups to further the spread of the symbology and contextual elements of an operation as well as the actual language involved.

Well, Since There’s a LAW against it, And Only the Military Uses It–it Isn’t Happening…..

YES–IT IS. Once upon a time, the military might have been the main players in this game. But with the advent of Psychographic Segmentation technology and mathematics that worked, and the civilian application of these techniques as marketing tools back some 40 years ago (give or take)–the rules changed.

Remember also that there are more than a few civilian firms that hire out to any government or individual that feels like setting off a regime change, for a fee–and they use the weaponized military approach. Those players were listed in the earliest articles on psychographic segmentation– you can refresh your memory by starting Way back at the beginning–but here are a few of the main players in the civilian aspect of militarized mass perception management:

SCL GROUP– Parent Firm for Cambridge Analytica

The Rendon Group– CIA’s Choice In Iraq

Booz Allen Hamilton– the Government’s Civilian “Home team”

There are many more. At the moment, Booz Allen is being investigated by the DOJ for “billing irregularities”–funny, given that over 95% of their money comes to them courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Also funny, given how very useful they were to the ex-administration during the campaign cycle…

So– What The Heck Happened?

What happened is back in the days when Dinosaurs roamed the Earth and we had just entered Viet Nam, mass perception management started being used on the civilian population–despite the “law” in place forbidding this. At this point, knowing whose brilliant idea this was is NOT necessary (and we may never know, really, who jumped in then). We DO know this:

  1. The Russians had embraced social programming very early in the field, and put a lot of research and effort into developing tools that would work in the civilian population of a country at “peace”.
  2. That at least one of our alphabets–the CIA–was actively testing drugging and programming models, in violation of a boatload of laws and regulations.
  3. That a strong possibility exists that BOTH these parties were testing live operations and projects in the USA during thew Viet Nam War.

And now–it’s time to get to the good part. How you can turn a reasonably healthy civilian population, in a free country, into a large pack of insane, paranoiac, dangerous people in a generation and a half.

Now–Part 2: What Needs To Be In Place To Create A Managed Reality…..

Analyzing Social Perception In Real Time–Part 1

Welcome To A Live Op.

Now that the largest part of the election is over, and we have multiple boycotts along with the typical rioting in the streets and felony behavior on the part of the leftist loons, we can revisit the wonderful world of psychographic segmentation.

Cambridge Analytica Resurfaces With A BOOM!

So, Forbes had an article this past week about how Jared Kushner won the election for Trump using social media, thanks to a crash basic training course in my field–psychographic segmentation and mass perception management. When I’m not writing professionally, I catalog, analyse and archive data. Some for tin foil hatters, some for marketing firms, some for cultural anthropologists…

You may remember (if you don’t read the rest of the articles in this part of the blog) That Robert Mercer, the reclusive mystery man behind Cambridge Analytica was supporting Ted Cruz, the Banker’s Husband. Given that Mercer owes BILLIONS–not millions–to the IRS and Ted wanted to abolish the income tax, this was a good investment. Thankfully, the Banker’s Husband was finally defeated. Cambridge Analytica was also hired for straight marketing work by Dr Ben Carson and literally hundreds of other politicians nationwide–as political candidates are what they market these days.

AND THAT SHOULD REALLY WORRY YOU. READ THE ARCHIVES.

C.A., Donald Trump, and Jared Kushner

I began keeping an eye on Jared the first time he appeared on the campaign trail. I was familiar with some of his history, and was simply curious about what kind of guy Ivanka’s hubbie was.Then, when the Banker’s Husband went down in flames and Mercer got behind TRUMP, I started digging deep and archiving EVERYTHING campaign related.

This was shortly before the tone of the online campaign changes dramatically. So I knew C.A. had a team in place. How? “FINGERPRINTS”. You see, each company in this field uses different algorithms and metrics, and therefore, you can ID everyone playing in a particular exercise. So, C.A. was back–but who was the point man?

The Speech That Exposed The Point Man–AIPAC.

About the same time C.A. came n board, semantic analysis led me to believe that someone was polishing up Trump’s speeches–actually, 2 someones, a male and a female. The female was easy to spot, as Ivanka has a distinctive style. But weeks of analysis had led nowhere in identifying the male in the picture. Then came AIPAC, and the male behind the speech was obvious–Jared Kushner. This has since been verified by the article in Bloomberg.

And if I hadn’t been over thinking–I would have figured it out a lot sooner. After all, who better to be the male voice than Ivanka’s husband? Intelligent, educated, lives with her all the time, family member.

Rule 1: CONSIDER WHAT YOU KNOW.

Rule 2: DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

Having broken both rules, I got back to work, and began extrapolating forward.

And Here We Are, In A Live Operation….

I’ll get back to everything between AIPAC and now in later articles. But at the moment, we’re looking at a live operation. And here is what we know:

  1. George Soros and the DNC, through a large number of shell “grassroots” groups, are causing mayhem with the riots.
  2. The obama administration, far from stepping in to stop this, is encouraging it, while Hillary remains silent, despite claiming in the last debate that anyone not willing to accept the results of the election is a “threat to democracy”.
  3. Deliberate assassination of police officers is rising.
  4. The MSM is spreading misinformation/disinformation as fast as they can create it.
  5. A large number of brand new “fake news” right wing websites are churning out FAKE NEWS–and the MSM is blaming those sites on Russian Federation scam artists making cash from the Adsense ads–true in some cases, blatantly false in others.
  6. Trump’s transition team is hard at work, ahead of schedule.

That’s the “short list”, of course. So what are Cambridge Analytica, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Tin Foil Hat analysts, the Trump social media team under Jared, and I, doing?

WE ARE ANALYZING EVERY WORD YOU TYPE. AND EVERY HASHTAG. Despite google and Twitter, and Facebook, there are ways to determine how well and fast a hashtag propagates other than their “trending” features–which are misinformation tools to begin with.

While I have no doubt whatsoever SOME of these people are doing deep analysis–looking for the real radicals on both sides, scraping identity information, and more, most of us are just compiling aggregate data, and mapping the data points.

If you think of each data point as a color coded PIXEL–and you keep adding more data points–you go from a stick figure to a photograph. And that photograph gives the experts a way to foretell the future. It gives the media disinformation/misinformation creation teams the tools they need to tailor the “news”, for maximum acceptance. It gives the Trump Team intel on their base’s sentiments, while they walk the tightrope over the political volcano without falling in and being consumed.

AND IT GIVES THE OPPOSITION TOOLS TO USE AGAINST US. 

So, everyone–watch your words and choice of memes/videos. Because everything we’re doing now online–including my writing this article, that will be tagged to stand out like a lighthouse beacon–is being noted and analysed. AND THIS WILL–NOT CAN, WILL–BE USED AGAINST US. This is more than your average election. This is a very deadly game, behind the scenes. Literally TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS in revenue covering dozens of industry sectors is on the line, and people have been killed for far less than that.

I’ll continue this after the turkey.

Cui Bono? GOPers, The Uniparty, and Ted Cruz

Part and parcel of the so called “delegate stealing” is who is actually doing the stealing for Ted Cruz. The answer is, of course, the GOPers. So why in the world would the GOPers be busily rigging the convention for Cruz, with the help of the rest of the uniparty and the media?

Cruz, Kleptocrat Acting As “The Outsider”

Ted Cruz positioned himself as an “outsider”, an anti-establishment candidate whose message is tailored to fit the smallest segment of the GOP–the hard line religious far right. The fact that he isn’t now, nor has he ever been, a “Constitutional Conservative, Anti-Establishment Christian” is irrelevant. Politics is a form of theater, at this point, and Cruz has the bona fides to pass himself off as all the aforementioned things, as long as you sort of cross your eyes and squint real hard when you look at him.

The GOPers know that, of course. It didn’t escape their attention that Cruz’s biggest single money man is Robert Mercer, hedge fund guru and epic tax dodger. It hasn’t escaped their attention that the PACS funding him are stuffed with big banking, big oil, and big business.And they definitely sat u and took notice when Mercer brought along with his endorsement, Cambridge Analytica and a large financial stake in the former king of “conservative alternative/independent media”, Breitbart.

What Cruz Means To The Uniparty

We talked a while back about bargain basement prices on psy-ops and mass perception management, and coups and regime changes. Currently, the government’s home team is a firm named Booz Allen Hamilton. BAH gets literally 99% of their money from the government, to the tune of around 70 billion dollars in 2015. Prior to Cambridge Analytica becoming a major player in America a few years ago, BAH, had precious little competition when it came to government projects.

Now, on the other hand, the government has the potential to acquire the services of a company whose psy-op, mass perception manipulation, and regime changing skills make old BAH look pathetic, at very favorable rates. BAH would still be useful, of course, as they perform many other services for the government outside of their work in intelligence and psy-ops. But why use a distant third place company for the important work, when you can get the best?

So–Cui Bono? Who Benefits?

If the GOPers can keep enough people uninformed about Ted Cruz, his big money connections, his extremely fringe religious endorsements and supporters, and his unconstitutional voting record,  they could take the White House, and the uniparty kleptocracy would have a data mining firm at their disposal that already possesses data the NSA envies. Beyond that, they would have a president that is more than willing to violate every promise he makes to his voters, and apparently has no qualms at all when it comes to using the people’s data against them on a regular basis.

Sure, they’d probably have to come to an agreement with Mercer and write of the majority of his multi-billion dollar tax bill (if not all of it). They’d also have to tolerate having Cruz as president for 4-8 years. But that’s a small price to pay when you’re looking at data acquisition of such massive proportions, and the personnel to best use that data to further their agenda. Cruz benefits, as he gets one of the two jobs he wants (president), while still leaving the door open for the other (SCOTUS Justice). Mercer benefits, as he is deep in the mix of American politics, and can move forward with whatever his own agenda is–something nobody really knows as he is so reclusive, but probably isn’t a good one, as he is a pure technocrat.

Cambridge Analytica and their parent company SCL Group benefit, as they have the power of the government behind them, a guaranteed source of major income, and can flex their muscles and refine their political candidate electing tools. Not to mention the fact that our government is in a way addicted to “nation building”, so they’ll have all kinds of interesting projects to occupy them between election cycles.

The losers are, of course, the American people as a group, and the Republic on the whole. But the kleptocrats and technocrats aren’t really concerned about that. After all, people are a useful resource, but hardly a rare commodity. And in the scope of their plans, we the people are typically either collateral damage, or acceptable losses.

 

Elegance, Context, And Bach

Music isn’t typically considered something that requires a context, as much as it is a contextual element. Music, like everything else in the universe, does have a mathematical component. As such, it can easily be incorporated into a contextual framework.

However, there are times when providing a visual context for a piece of music can greatly enhance not only the enjoyment of the piece, but the understanding of the underlying structure. In this post, I’ll be showing you how context can enhance the understanding of musical structure, and in the next, we’ll look at music as a contextual element.

Bach To The Basics.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed music in a time when form, symmetry and structure of a piece was one of the most important components a composer addressed, and it is beautifully illustrated in a short piece he wrote, according to history, in a half an afternoon.

As played here, with minimal context, the piece is simple, but beautiful. Balanced, delicate, and light. A Canon is a piece of music that is highly structured, and as there are multiple elements that can be introduced, the composer could achieve an amazing diversity within the rigid structure of the style. A Crab canon is also called a “retrograde” canon, as the leader is reading the music left to right, while an accompanying musical instrument (or the “other hand” on a piano)  is reading from right to left. Crab canons may also include “inversion”, where one set of notes is rising while another is falling.

The Canon Structure

Canons can range from the simple canon, a “round” like “Row , Row, Row Your Boat”, to complex Baroque pieces employing retrograde, inverse, and several varieties of contrapuntal motion; everything from parallel (the note spaced evenly apart in pitch and rising or falling) and oblique (one note remaining the same while another rises and falls in relation to it), to the “species counterpoint” found in fugues. BTW, a “species counterpoint” is when you start with one simple progression or melody, and add a second, third, and fourth, while still maintaining structure and harmony.

Now that you have heard the Crab Canon with minimal context, let’s watch the Canon in action:

 

The simple addition of animation allows you to “follow” the piece, and better appreciate the structure in a way that the sheet music alone doesn’t, unless of course you can read sheet music :-). Even then, the Moebius effect isn’t evident at first.

Then there is Pachelbel….

In this very familiar piece, you’ll see nearly every possible form of contrapuntal construction; parallel, oblique, inverse, and species are all represented. Note that the more complex animation used, “Synthesia” is actually a teaching tool. If you look around on You Tube, you’ll find literally thousands of complex piano pieces translated into this format, typically in different speeds–this one is 100%, but it is available as slow as 30% of full speed.

The growth of synthesia is part of an overall trend in learning and multi-sensory knowledge integration known as “gamification”, something we’ll be referring to more often as this series progresses. Gamification has been used for everything from teaching piano to collecting data in political campaigns, with Ted Cruz’s Cruz Crew App being the first example of a truly sophisticated data mining program disguised as a game.

Gamification works because it fully engages the subject, creating an immersive, personal experience in a way that is instructive, and in many cases, mildly addictive as well. Combining a zero risk environment, strong audio and visual cues and carefully spaced “rewards”, gamification provides an ideal vehicle for enhancing and delivering a project over time.

Personally, I prefer Pachelbel.

 

Perspective, Perception, Context, And Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly, both the original french novel it was adapted from by Puccini and Puccini’s version, is a five handkerchief opera. But more than that, it’s an excellent study of perspective, perception and context, as the cultural and social landscape has changed quite drastically in the 120 years or so since brides like Butterfly were common.

For those unfamiliar with the story, In Japan and Hong Kong in the mid to late 1800’s, English and American sailors would often marry “little brides”–young girls from financially distressed families, whose parents would arrange for them to be temporary wives of convenience to keep the family from starving. In many cases, the “priest” at the wedding wasn’t even a real official. In the worst cases, the entire “wedding”, paperwork and all, was a sham, leaving behind a young girl in a house she got evicted from a few months later.

So Butterfly, at 15, married Pinkerton in the little house he bought for her (part of the arrangement). It wasn’t really “bought”, only leased for 999 years, but could be cancelled in a month. Just as Butterfly’s marriage could be in Japan, where there had been divorce laws since the time of the Shoguns. Pinkerton was in his mid to late thirties.

Puccini’s treatment of Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton in the opera, written in 1904, is quite interesting–whenever Pinkerton or the Ambassador is on the scene, the national anthem plays. The Ambassador tries to tell Pinkerton that he might not consider it a marriage, but Butterfly does. Pinkerton, being a shallow American, dismisses this entirely. On his wedding day to Butterfly, he toasts her, and his future American wife, whoever she may be.

After the wedding, Pinkerton soon leaves again, to continue his Naval career, leaving behind Butterfly, who has his son. Three years pass, and during that time, Butterfly learns English, lives as a Christian, fills the house with English furniture and sews American clothing in preparation for his return….

Un Bel Di Vedremo

 

While the quality isn’t the greatest in this clip, it doesn’t have to be to see what we’re looking at today.

And here is the full opera that the clip came from, with subtitles. This is a “global effort”,  an Italian opera filmed in Yokohama by a French film company, starring a Chinese opera singer (her first opera, as a matter of fact), subtitled in English.

Madame Butterfly

 

The lyrics:

One good day, we will see
Arising a strand of smoke
Over the far horizon on the sea
And then the ship appears
And then the ship is white
It enters into the port, it rumbles its salute.

Do you see it?

He is coming!
I don’t go down to meet him, not I.
I stay upon the edge of the hill
And I wait a long time
but I do not grow weary of the long wait.

And leaving from the crowded city,
A man, a little speck
Climbing the hill.
Who is it? Who is it?
And as he arrives
What will he say? What will he say?
He will call Butterfly from the distance
I without answering
Stay hidden
A little to tease him,
A little as to not die.
At the first meeting,
And then a little troubled
He will call, he will call
“Little one, dear wife
Blossom of orange”
The names he called me at his last coming.
All this will happen,
I promise you this
Hold back your fears –
I with secure faith wait for him.

One Good Day….

Our perspective is is that of Butterfly’s maid, watching her silently from inside the house, as she tells us that he is coming, one good day. While everyone else has tried to tell her the marriage meant nothing, and tried to get her to marry someone else, She wouldn’t. She believes he will return, with all the faith of a young girl in love. And as we listen to this young girl, so hopeful, so faithful, we draw closer. The subject internalizes and personalizes Butterfly’s feelings, even if you don’t have subtitles, and don’t know Italian.

Though there are no subtitles in the song clip itself, we can see in Butterfly’s face the hope, the doubt, and then the resolute conviction as she tells her maid he will come back. But the look on her face at 4:10, the swallow, tells a different story….

One of the things that sets this particular portrayal of Madame Butterfly apart from the standard is the filming in context–in a real village, in a real house.  The immersive context of the movie format rather than the traditional theater setting adds a layer of complexity and emotional impact that even the subtitles don’t detract from significantly.

In a theatrical production of any kind, one of the greatest challenges is creating immersive contexts; giving the audience a rich enough contextual reference to cancel out the rest of the theater, and bring the production to a point where it can be internalized and personalized. By adapting Butterfly to movie format, the French production team was more than able to overcome the few shortcomings in the opera itself, such as the 2 dimensional quality Pinkerton and the Ambassador had, and the shallow treatment of the Japanese culture as well.

When you contrast the movie version here with a top quality theater production, it is very easy to see for yourself just how much difference contextual framing can make in a narrative. Here is a clip of a theater performance of the same piece, sung by one of the finest Japanese opera singers, Hiromi Omura:

Note that in the theater production, the opera’s characters provide additional context through exaggerated hand movements, and facial expressions, and in this particular production, Butterfly is inside, obviously facing “the window” or “the porch”.

Context matters. This clip has changed our perspective as disinterested third parties–instead of being in the place of Butterfly’s maid, who knows the marriage is a sham and Butterfly’s heart will be broken, we’re now “peeping Toms”, removed from the story and watching. We have lost the contextual framework. All the relevant emotional context comes from the singer herself.

The Ending….

I’m not going to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. But I will say this: the average person has a love/hate relationship with opera. It’s an art form that you either can’t stand, or you completely understand and love (with a few exceptions).

This particular use of contextual framing, taking what is normally a difficult form of theater to make immersive and transforming it into a five handkerchief experience may be one of the few examples of “opera” that even a hater can appreciate.

Next, we’ll take a closer look at Music